Mt Dora or Bust! Washington – Oregon – California


The road trip to Mt Dora, Florida begins in Northern Washington State near the USA – Canadian border. This leg of the trip was around 1,460 miles starting from Oroville, Washington with a short stop in Portland, Oregon and on to Bakersfield, California – which is where I am tonight. I’m trying to figure out how to present this series of photos so they won’t give everyone the impression that they are looking at Uncle Ned’s vacation pic’s! I’ll do my best…

The ultimate boat – a Columbia River barge taken from the I-84 at 75 mph, no time to stop. Hey it’s a boat……. right?
A brief stop at Westcoast Classic Boat Restoration in Portland, Oregon to pick up a 1959 Red Fish Sea Shark 17′ for delivery to Bakersfield, CA. The early (big finned) Red Fish fiberglass boats were originally produced in Clarksville, Texas starting in the late 1950’s. The 17′ Sea Shark model is quite a rare model and was available with a factory optional hard top which also hard to find. The transom’s were also designed to utilize short shaft twin outboards. More on the Red Fish boats later, because we have to stay on schedule!

While at Westcoast Classic Boat, Jim West gave me a quick tour to show us what he’s working on these days and it was very cool. “Jazzy Lady” is a 1940 Century 21′ Sedan, another of Dick & Louise Werner’s fantastic collection of rare wooden boats.

The 1940 Century Sedan is powered by a 140 HP Fireball 6 and Jim say’s it’s coming together nicely. Next to her, is a 1929 26′ Dodge Water Car that Jim has been working on for the last few years and it’s now close to being completed.

The hull sides on the Dodge Water Car are currently being wet sanded and polished.

The decks have been wet sanded and look great – the photo’s don’t really show the high quality workmanship but look wonderful. What’s very unique about this boat is it’s power plant. See below… The power plant for the 1929 Dodge Water Car is a brand new (from the GM / Cadillac factory) 6.2 Litre Supercharged LS-6 V-8 that produces 525 HP! It also has electronic throttle-by-wire technology which is very impressive. Another interesting boat in Jim’s shop is this beautiful Canadian built 1948 22′ Duke Utility, in for some fresh varnish and new yellow pin striping on the deck seams, just like how it left the Duke factory in ’48. This boat is no stranger to the Lake Tahoe Concours. And finally, close to being complete with only the interior remaining is this 1950 20′ Chris-Craft Riviera powered by a 158 HP Hercules MBL.

Next stop on Friday morning is at Vintage Boatworks, in Bakersfield California – A new shop that specializes in classic fiberglass boat restorations. If you like Big Fin Boats, stay tuned….

4 replies
  1. MBW
    MBW says:

    Cool!TEXXXXX on the road again!
    Love the info on the Redfish Co.; learn something new everyday! Are you towing that with your motorcycle?

  2. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Hey, I just found your RedFish posting. I came across a RedFish for sale, and didn't know the history behind them.

    It's been sitting for sale for a while. it's complete with Hardtop and the original engine it looks like. It's in great condition, if not completely restored.

    Give me a email if you are interested. It's sitting in Northern Wisconsin.

    mike at

  3. Texx
    Texx says:

    Mike – I'm towing back from Lake Tahoe but will send you an e-mail later this week. Thanks for tuning in.

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